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NHS Urges People To Come Forward for Life Saving Cancer Checks

The National Health Service is urging people to come forward for life saving cancer checks.

Ahead of a new campaign launching next week, NHS England chief executive, Amanda Pritchard said that the NHS is open and ready to treat people, and urged anyone with potential cancer symptoms to come forward.

Research shows that three in five people (60%) are concerned about burdening the NHS, with half (49%) saying they would delay seeking medical advice compared to before the pandemic.

Around a quarter of a million people were checked for cancer in June, the second highest number on record, and treatment numbers have been back at usual levels since March. More than 27,000 people started treatment for cancer in June, a 42% increase on the same time last year.

The NHS chief stressed that there could be tens of thousands more people who are not coming forward, either because they’re unaware of common cancer symptoms, or because they feel they would burden the NHS. 

Dame Cally Palmer, Director of the NHS Cancer Programme, said: “Cancer diagnosis and treatment has been an absolute priority throughout the pandemic and continues to be so. Over the last few months we’ve seen record demand for cancer services and it’s encouraging that so many people came forward for potentially life-saving checks in June.

“We want to build on this success, and make sure that people who might be experiencing symptoms are not afraid or anxious about coming forward. Our message is clear – if you are experiencing any worrying symptoms, please see your GP.”

Symptoms that could be possible signs of abdominal or urological cancers include:

  • Discomfort in the tummy area for three weeks or more
  • Diarrhoea for three weeks or more   
  • Blood in your pee – even just once

People are being reminded to contact their GP if they have any of these symptoms. People should also speak to their GP if they notice any other unusual changes, such as a lump in the tummy area, post-menopausal bleeding, or unexplained weight loss, as these can also be signs of cancer.

For lung cancer, symptoms can include: 

  • A cough for three weeks or more that isn’t Covid
  • Chest infections that keep coming back
  • Coughing up blood


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